difficult child wants to move home

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by missy44, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    Well, part of me wants to jump for joy that he is even thinking about moving home, but the other part of me knows that we have such a long road ahead of us. My husband and I have already decided that at this time he cannot move home. He has not been able to (or even looked for a job), he's not in college, he's still using drugs (we don't know what), but we know that he is starting to make "small" changes.
    He went with a friend to get new resumes made and has sent me a facebook message saying he wants to talk...
    We are going to meet with him to talk and this is what we have in mind... Input welcome:
    We will listen to why he feels he is ready to come home.
    We will tell him that until he agrees to treatment and help he cannot live in our home.
    We will tell him that until he has a job of some sort he cannot come home.
    WE will tell him that we love him, will help him with a job search (haircut, nice clothes for an interview (he doesn't have any) and will drive him to interviews (he doesn't have transportation).
    We will take him to councelling appointments if he makes them.
    We will tell him that he needs to arrange his housing until he can prove to use that he is trying to get his life on the right track.
    And again, we will tell him that we love him and always have and always will.
    Should i be doing something more, differently?

    We don't know why he wants to come home but suspect that he has worn out his welcome where he is. All he does is smoke pot and whatever else??? no job, nothing. I'm sure they're fed up (don't know why this family took him in in the first place but suspect they are involved in drugs of some sort). My heart is hoping that he has fallen and hit rock bottom, but I really don't believe that.

    Thanks for the input and I'm sure I'll be visiting quite a bit. I only have today and live for the good news that comes. Today there is hope, who knows what tomorrow will bring...

    Thanks eveyone,
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Missy, it sounds good to me. You're being supportive while staying firm.

    I'll be keeping fingers crossed and saying a prayer that difficult child is ready to change, and not just going thru the motions cuz he has no where else to go.

  3. dadside

    dadside New Member

    I think you have the right idea, and certainly that there have to be changes evident before he can return to your home. I also know this response misses some of the history Occupational Therapist (OT) the story, but ...

    Consider that put together you insist that he has to agree to treatment and get a job (both things) before he can move home. Realistically, can he get a job "now"? I think being in treatment, not just agreeing to it, might be the standard. Also, that he is living somewhere, doesn't that mean he already is arranging his own housing? What standard(s) will you use to decide whether or not he has proven "that he is trying to get his life on the right track", thus fulfilling another criteria to move home? And why wouldn't starting treatment for addiction prove he is trying??

    I'm not trying to get picky here, but think and criteria you lay out need to be clear, complete and realistic. I assume there are already "house rules" for when he does return, again, to prevent surprises and shifting standards. Maybe this could all be a part of your discussion with him.
  4. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Your list in wonderful. I think I might add random drug testing if he chooses to come back to your home.

    Crossing my fingers with you!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If it were me, I'd add that the first time he does drugs, he's out. You CAN insist he clean up in your house. He isn't going to do well in rehab if he is still snorting, smoking, doing whatever he's doing. He has to quit and you don't need rehab to quit--you sometimes need it to help you stay clean. I'd also insist on Narcotics Anonymous meetings, although it won't work if he's just going through the motions. Depends on where his heart is.
    My daughter never went to rehab but when she was ready she quit. And I mean QUIT. And I never let her not work. Even when she was doing drugs, before she was thrown out, she had a job because she got no money from me as they always went to drugs and cigarettes. So she had no choice but to work. I think it was good for her. Now that she's clean, she has already established a strong work ethic and is an EXTREMELY hard worker who is also in college full time. The busier he is, perhaps the less he will use drugs.
    I would NOT let him come home just to get high, watch TV, and make token appearances at rehab. He has to show serious signs that he wants to change his lifestyle and quit. When daughter decided to quit, she suddenly cut off her friends, wanted to move out of state with her brother to get away from everyone, and was willing to walk to work and work hard at her very strict brother's house in order to dump the drug crowd she'd been a part of since age 12 (yes, 12). Good luck!!!!! Wishing you the best.
  6. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    Hi all,
    Well, things around here have changed and not for the better right now.
    My husband and I had plans to meet our difficult child at 4:00pm today after work to discuss the stipulations and rules he would need to follow to be allowed to stay in our home (this is new, he has definitely been kicked out of where he was and is now homeless). He showed up at 7:30am at our door, homeless, crying and beligerent.
    I"m waiting for a friend of mine to come over and talk with him, my friend is a drug abuse counsellor. My son just keeps telling me he doesn't have a problem, he's fine, he's just trying to get his **** together.
    No job, no college, homeless, extreme weight loss, i wouldn't say that he is fine!
    Ive called all the drug detox and rehab places in our city, nothing until at least mid April (so much for the emergency line), and quite honestly, our son doesn't think he has a problem. One of the counsellors I spoke with ths morning said "don't turn him away, he'll end up hanging with a bunch of users".
    I let him come in to sleep this am (got my kids off to school and called work to say i wouldn't be in) and we are still supposed to go out and talk this evening. He somehow needs to get his stuff from the place he's been kicked out of.
    I made him unpack his back before he was allowed to sleep downstairs, many empty baggies (he said they are called gram baggies for pot), an empty mickie and that's about it. I am struggling to get through today. I don't know if I can throw him out on the streets if he doesn't agree to our groundrules, I guess I can talk the talk, but i don't know if I can walk the walk.
    I need some sleep desperately, when I found out he was even thinking about asking to move home I have been so stressed and anxious that sleep hasn't been possible.
    Any thoughts at all. I know that so far I've failed miserably. I just wasn't expecting my child to show up on my doorstep so desperate..
    I'll be checking in frequently.
  7. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Michelle, my first thought is that you haven't failed miserably, in fact, you haven't failed at all. You had know way of knowing that your difficult child was going to show up on your doorstep, homeless, and in such a state. It's really hard to ignore your mommy heart when you see your child suffering like that.

    I think that while he's resting and you're waiting for your friend to arrive to talk to your difficult child, you have an opportunity to plan.

    Are there any shelters in your area where your difficult child can stay?

    Whatever you decide, you need to make the decision that's right for you right now. A decision you can live with, no matter what it turns out to be. There are no right or wrong answers when you're dealing with this sort of situation. You can only keep putting one foot in front of the other and carry on.

    You have the list of criteria that you drew up for difficult child to be allowed to move home. Perhaps part of the conversation your friend the drug counsellor needs to have with difficult child is if he's willing to meet and stick to those criteria. If he is, then perhaps you can let him stay. If not, then perhaps he needs to go to a shelter.

    No matter what you decide to do, listen to your mommy gut and your mommy heart. And know that we're here for you, whatever you decide.

    Detaching is hard. So very very hard.

    Sending you many gentle {{{hugs}}}.

  8. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I think the others have made excellent points.
    Is he 18? If that is the case, he is still young. This would make me somewhat open to not necessarily letting him move back into your home, but helping him get the help he needs to get healthy. Maybe this means making some calls...making some appointments. Encouraging him to get counseling, see doctors, etc. I wouldn't necessarily get overly invested in this...but would be willing to put in some effort here. I like the list too. You will have to set boundaries. You will have to do some detaching. You might have to get some professional input. I agree as well...do what is best for you and your family. There are younger children in your home. They need protection. Take a look at the article I posted re: that topic. See what you can do to help your difficult child from a distance. At such time he is willing to abide by boundaries and is off of drugs, perhaps serious discussion can be implemented on having him in your home. In addition, make sure you remove all negative thoughts from your state of mind. Surely, you did the best you could and you will continue to do so. This isn't easy for anyone. Focus on positives...it'll keep you stronger.
    Lasted edited by : Mar 23, 2009
  9. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Hi Michelle -

    I agree with Trinity - you certainly have not failed. This hit you broadside -

    I guess you are faced with three choices:

    Let him stay. Kick him back out. Find housing elsewhere for him. Do you have any boarding type houses in your area where he (you) could rent a room by the month until you can figure out a plan?

    His refusal to admit to 'having a problem' is very problematic. Trouble is, if life remains too comfy, he may never realize that he has a problem. And yet, 18 years old is very young to throw him out on his ear.

    You are in a tough spot. Think, get some rest, and then begin formulating a plan.

  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The biggest problem you and he have is that he doesn't realize he has a problem. If he is using, kicked out and homeless and still doesn't think he has a problem, I truly don't know what you can do to help him. I'm not sure what I'd do in your shoes if he were unwilling to face the fact that he has a bad problem. If he is VERY thin, suspect cocaine usage. My daughter was really a stick when she snorted coke. Those baggies could be coke rather than pot--our drug using kids never tell us the truth. They say "I'm smoking some pot and drinking" because it sounds better to us than "I'm using ecstacy, cocaine, heroine." Sadly, I learned all this from my daughter who has given me quite an education in drug usage since she cleaned up her act. She sometimes tells me more than I want to know. I did make her leave our house at 18, but she went to her brother's house. It was a risk for her because he is so straight he would have had no problem tossing her out in the cold if she broke one rule. She didn't break any rules. In a brand new state, without a car, she got a job and walked to work and she quit both drugs and even cigarettes. She made me a believer in tough love, in spite of how I cried for three weeks after she left. She knew that if her brother hadn't allowed her to live in his basement for a while, she'd have been tossed on the streets. Her last words to us were, "I will hate you forever." We are very close now.
    I'm glad we were strict with her when she was younger rather than letting her live a comfy drug-using life at 18. So that is JMO--I wouldn't make life easy for him or he could be 25 soon and still the same way.
    This is not YOUR fault. This is his fault. If he hadn't gone this route, he wouldn't be in this situation. Don't ever blame yourself. I wish I had words of wisdom. (((Hugs)))
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  11. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    Thanks everyone, it's been a long day. Here is the update, I'll try to keep it short as I'm exhausted.
    After some battling that wasn't going anywhere i decided I couldn't throw him out on the street and let him in to sleep in the basement this morning. He looks terrible, thin, grey, etc... and is very teary eyed. As soon as he emptied all his pockets, he crawled into bed and I got on the phone. I called a friend of ours who owns a group home for kids on drugs and he said "i'll be there at noon to take your son out for lunch". I woke my son up at 11:30am and said get dressed, bob's coming.
    They went for lunch, they talked, he agreed to counselling (drug and a psychiatrist) to begin this week. He brought him back, we all talked about a short term stay in our home until my son gets his **** together. Bob (our friend) said he suspects "big" time depression and the drugs are a bandaid, he doesn't suspect a big "hard core" drug problem, but did say you can never be sure. My son has not had a job, has not been eating, and has been partying nonstop, so in reality that could be the cause of the weightloss (i hate not knowing).
    Tomorrow my friend is picking up my son at 9am, taking him to the social services office, checking into welfare and is going to try to find him some room and board (this may take a few weeks). In the meantime we have set up the rules, no using, no drugs, counselling and respect while he is here.
    I'm still worried to death, don't know what is really going on, but for today I'll take what I'm given.
    Tonight he has gone for 2 hours to his friends house around the corner (1st he played some road hockey and actually at a meal with us). It doesn't appear that he detoxing or anything, but I just don't know.
    That's all for now, I'll check in tomorrow.
    Thanks again,
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    What a day! I am so sorry it has come to this. You have a very good friend. He is a true friend, and a treasure.

    I don't think I could throw my son out in that shape either.

    Just be SURE that each of your other kids has a place that they can retreat to - with a lock on the door - so that they have a "safe" place. It is a personal retreat AND a place to keep their belongings safe.

    Lock up everything you don't want stolen. I don't know if your son will steal, but if he has a drug problem then anything that can be taken is at risk. It may be easier to lock up items (esp sentimental ones that can't be replaced) for a while rather than to cope with the loss of them and the betrayal.

    Sending gentle hugs and a LOT of support. I am sorry things are so rough.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Most drug users are depressed. Not all depressed peope use illegal drugs. Don't get snowed. From what my daughter told me, you don't eat or sleep and you party a lot using cocaine. Also his weight loss is a big red flag. I would NOT rule it out. I was shocked to learn my daughter used cocaine. It's also a huge red flag for meth. Then they take downers so that they can sleep. My daughter's motto is: "NEVER trust a drug addict. They lie." And they lie to counselors too. My daughter fooled quite a few good ones. After all, they're only human. Just a heads up.
    Going to a counselor once a week without changing his lifestyle won't help him eitiher.
  14. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    thanks, and yes, I'm expecting the worst... I'm expecting to get snowed...
    Is it a good sign that he hasn't used for at least 24 hours and hasn't been chomping at the bit to get out and try to use?

    I'm so scared and literally sick to my stomach. He's sleeping right now, our friend will be picking him up soon.

    How do I really know the truth? I have his cousin and now our friend telling me that he isn't using hard core drugs but that he has been using pot and that he's just lost, but not a bad kid. He stayed at my nephews on the weekend and he said "brendan is not a bad kid, he's not doing bad things, he's just lost".

    I don't know what to think. I do think that whatever drug or drugs he is using is a huge problem I also think that there is a difference in abusing pot then the kid who has a meth or coke problem.

    My husband, difficult child and myself went out last night to talk. My difficult child seems remorseful, doesn't like his life, is depressed, but i'm just so worried still.

    OUr friend (who owns the group home) thinks that councelling with a drug counsellor and a psychiatrist is what he needs right now. What if this is wrong? Who do I listen to?

    The wait in our city for an initial assessment is at least 40 days and our difficult child doesn't think that he needs that type of a program.

    Thanks all, i just don't know what to do..
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hon, the sad thing is, you WON'T know. I didn't know my daughter was using more than pot and alcohol (I thought she had bipolar and felt bad for her) and "just sometimes" a little speed until she told me herself after she quit. I had no idea that the "skinny" look usually meant heavy meth and cocaine because you aren't hungry when you use it. I never dreamed she'd actually shot up heroin a few times. I thought that once you tried heroin you were hooked forever, but she said she did it twice so I guess that's not true. She would use ADHD pills (easy to get, although expensive if you buy on the street) crush them in pillcrushers with her friends and snort them either alone or with cocaine. Did I know? Not until she quit and told me the whole nine yards. I just thought she was depressed and had poor self esteem and needed to be built up. And she used my Mommy Heart against me with tears and staring me straight in the eyes and saying, "So you don't TRUST me?" with indignation. The truth is, you have no idea what your son is doing, but in my opinion it sounds like a lot more than pot. Pot makes you hungry and lethargic. He probably wouldn't be in such bad shape only smoking pot, not that pot is a GOOD thing, it's just not as physically debilitating in the short term as meth or cocaine or some stuff they get over the counter and use (my daughter did this stuff too). I had a sudden education into Drug Use 101 after daughter quit and gave me Scared Straight because I was so straight myself and had never done any drugs at all. She'd been busted twice for pot so I figured that was what she was doing for the most part, but, boy, was I wrong when I heard the whole story. in my opinion your son's behavior is probably due to more extensive drug use than pot, but you'll never know from him because he's smart enough to realize that pot won't freak you out but meth and cocaine and ecstacy will. And he's probably good at conning even the experts, like my daughter was. She had them almost crying crocadile tears for her. She even had them blaming me for doubting her word (eye rolling here). Drug users lie so easily that it's not worth it trying to ask them. The only thing you'll know for sure is when they quit. There is a dramatic change in them when they stop.
    My daughter quit drugs for a few weeks at a time during her eight years of drug use, but always gave back in to peer pressure. In her case, she absolutely DID want to quit, but had to leave the state to get a fresh start. She just couldn't say "no." If your son has not altered who he hangs around with, he hasn't changed his behavior either most likely. Druggies hang with druggies. And if a druggie tries to quit, well, misery loves company--my daughter was never left alone when she tried to go straight and she wasn't strong enough to just tell them to get lost. She looks them up now and then on Facebook or MySpace and all of her old friends except for one girl are or were in prison. She is one of two in her crowd who are clean and productive. She feels very sad that the others are still heavily into drugs/felonous behavior/not working, etc.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Just because you have not SEEN him use does not mean he did not get high in the bathroom. MANY drug abusers can seem "normal" when using because to their bodies it IS normal.

    I agree with MWM, the skinny look is a dead giveaway that he is using a LOT more than pot. Pot makes you hungry. The munchies are NOT something made up by Cheech N Chong, they are REAL. I used to work in a restaurant where pot use was rampant. I have seen the signs - they are pretty unmistakeable and NO ONE lost weight while using pot. Not that I ever saw. They lost weight on other drugs.

    Don't trust his friends. You don't know which of the friends are using. MANY kids successfully hide drug problems from family. And drug addicts can successfully hide problems from friends for weeks at a time.

    don't stop being suspicious. If he is coming into your home you have the right to search him to stop substances from coming in. Especially if you have younger children at home. But don't expect to actually find all his drugs. You might find some, but addicts are AMAZING at finding hiding places. Scary amazing.

    Sending lots of support to help you through this.
  17. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I feel you pain also. I would protect myself at all times and not believe any of his friends. They are very charming I am sure. Keep posting to us and we will hear you through this.